As a non-formal educational programme, the Award can play a vital role in providing opportunities for young people to develop essential life skills, complimenting their formal education or workplace. This enables them to grow in confidence and in their ability to contribute positively to their communities. Its success and flexibility is evidenced by the fact that it has spread to over 140 countries and territories. The Award has developed a number of impact measures by examining existing research and evidence on the Award’s effectiveness as a youth development programme. Much of this evidence is based on young people’s own reports of how doing their Award has transformed their outlook. It also takes into account the views of employers, educational institutions, parents and youth leaders. The impact measures have been benchmarked against international frameworks such as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, and against the development objectives of regional and international organisations such as the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Improved educational attainment
Improving young people’s attendance at school and college, their commitment to education and their achievement levels.
Improved employability and sustainable livelihoods
Improving young people’s employment levels and ability to support themselves financially when they need to do so.
Improved health and well-being
Increasing young people’s physical fitness, and their own sense of emotional and mental well-being.
Increased participation in civic life
Increasing young people’s involvement in volunteering and community activities, and their participation in the social and political life of their community.
Improving community integration, acceptance of individual differences, and increasing the access of all young people to development opportunities.
Increasing young people’s awareness of environmental issues, and involvement in environmental and sustainability initiatives.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women
Bridging the gender gap and empowering marginalised young women, building their self-worth and enabling them to demonstrate their potential.
Reduction and prevention of violence, conflict resolution and peace-building
Reducing inter- and intra-group conflict and violence, and building dialogue and co-operation within communities.
Reduced reoffending (recidivism) rates
Reducing youth crime and contributing to the reduction of reoffending rates.